How to Modify Scooter Forks

Written by tom lutzenberger
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How to Modify Scooter Forks
Scooter front forks can be made with either single-arm or dual fork designs. (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

For those who can't stay satisfied with their scooter as a stock assembly there are a number of modifications which you can perform to make the vehicle unique. Changing out or modifying the front fork is one such option. The process can be as easy as changing out compatible parts or as elaborate as having the front fork physically changed by a talented machine-shop. Whichever the choice, some work is involved in removing the forks and then reinstalling them once they are modified or changed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Socket wrench and sockets
  • Metal pan
  • Rubber mallet
  • Metal cable cutters
  • Fork bearing ring tool
  • Crescent wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Grease
  • New front brake cable
  • Cable holding tool
  • Cable pinch bolt
  • Crescent wrench

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use a socket wrench and sockets to loosen and remove the nuts holding on the front tire and wheel hub. Place the hardware in a metal pan to avoid losing the bits. Smack the front tire and front wheel hub sequentially with rubber mallet to remove them from the front axle. Place them both aside.

  2. 2

    Cut the front brake cable at its front hub connection with metal cable cutters. Loosen the headset from the fork by using a socket wrench to loosen the headset securing bolt. Remove the scooter headset upward after pushing the speedometer cable through fork to give yourself slack. Use a fork bearing ring tool to remove the securing rings and upper fork bearing. Pull the front fork downward and out of the scooter frame. Loosen the front bumper with a crescent wrench and socket wrench and remove it off the fork.

  3. 3

    Remove any remaining cables and speedometer bits from the front fork. Use a socket wrench and crescent wrench to remove the front shock absorber. Decide if you want to physically modify the fork or change out with one that has a different design. Take the fork to a machine shop to extend the fork leg lengths or to twist them for a braided look. Pay for the services and pick up the forks when they are ready.

  4. 4

    Place your modified fork or swap-out fork on a work bench. Reinstall the speedometer parts and gears previously removed so they are ready to connect. Attach a new speedometer cable to the fork and route it through the fork tube so that it sticks out of the top. Reattach the front shock and secure it with nuts and bolts tightened by a crescent wrench.

  5. 5

    Insert the fork through the front bumper/wheel cover and bolt it into place again using a socket wrench and crescent wrench. Install the lower fork bearing with new grease. Move the entire assembly back to the scooter frame and insert the fork back into its socket in the front of the frame. Place the upper fork bearing with new grease on the fork as it comes through the frame. Lock it into place with the bearing ring and bearing ring tool.

  6. 6

    Reattach the headset after reconnecting the speedometer cable. Lock the headset into place with the headset securing bolt and socket wrench. Run a new front brake cable down from the handle, through the cable housing, to the bottom of the fork. Attach the front hub and wheel and tighten them onto the fork with a socket wrench. Attach the new brake cable to the front hub and tighten it with a cable holding tool, a cable pinch bolt and a crescent wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • Always use the opportunity when pulling out and reinstalling parts that use bearings to examine the bearings and replace them if needed. If they are still good to use, clean them off with a solvent, let them dry, and lubricate them with brand new engine grease.
  • Always check the alignment of your front fork before finishing the tightening of the headset. Have a friend check that the headset is on straight before finishing the tightening. Otherwise your steering will be haphazard.

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